Why do some emails get opened while others do not. Why do some emails get read but fail to inspire the reader to take action? For over three decades, book marketers have wondered how an email can help effectively sell a book.
I have seen what works — and what doesn’t — when it comes to authors using email to sell their books. Before we can perfect the email that will invite sales, we need to look at whom is being emailed.
You need to ask:
* Is your email going to people you already have on an opt-in list?
* Are you cold-emailing others who were screened for their interests and needs?
* Are you contacting individuals or organizations/groups?
* Do you separate the types of groups — such as businesses vs non-profits vs schools vs religious leaders vs government agencies, etc?
* Can you break up your email lists so an email can be tailored to match who the recipients are?
The emails that work best to sell a book:
* Have a catchy subject line to seduce one to open it.
* Present an alluring headline and descriptive sub-headline for people to see when they start reading the body of the email.
* Make a claim or states a fact or raises a question that helps filter out or qualify for whom your book is targeted to.
* Says something that most or all would agree and identify with — an ethical, philosophical or spiritual or human rights principle or values statement.
* Warns of negative consequences one could suffer unless they grab on to the solution that you offer.
* Communicate a big idea or challenges the norms. It could cite a stat, fact, or poll results that rallies readers to your side.
* Establish credibility — quote a review, show a testimonial, mention an award, or say something that validates you or your book.
* Are not too long but include a link to a site that could expand upon why one should buy your book.
* Use aspirational language: state things in the ideal and associate your book with such an outcome.
* Ask for the sale.
* Provide a guarantee.
* Present info in short paragraphs that are easy to understand and don’t come off as spammy.
* Present clear reasons why one should buy the book — usually in bulleted copy.
* Include a visual that draws them in and seems to best represent your message.
* Offer a bonus of free content to supplement the book.
* Give a deal or discount — with a deadline to respond.
* Sound personal and customized, as if they came from a friend.
* Speak to the wants and/or desires of the recipient.
* Thank or praise the reader for being able to take the next step: buy the book and enhance or transform their life.
* Add a P.S. that provides a deal-clinching extra.
Emails that sell books are ones that convey a
likable message and combine it with the offering of something of value.
Book Marketing Help?
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning
blog, can be reached at email@example.com He
is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow
their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping
thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter
@theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and
raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and
Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer
and IBPA’s The Independent. This
award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts
over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by
BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018
as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by
www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades,
including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book
publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with
many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with
best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen,
Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard,
Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C.
Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a
panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA,
Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction
Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland)
Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association.
His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal,
USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News
(Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The
Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: